The chairman of Saudi Arabia's state oil giant says plans for a possible initial public offering are not being driven by a need for cash amid a global slump in oil prices, but instead signal a desire for greater openness to outside investors.

Khalid al-Falih says the potential listing of the world's largest oil producer "is not for cash" but a "sign of the times" that the kingdom is open for business.

Al-Falih spoke on Monday at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia. He said despite oil prices recently dipping below $30 a barrel, Aramco's investments in oil and gas have not slowed down.

Earlier, al-Falih told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel that any initial public offering of Saudi Aramco would not include the kingdom's oil reserves.